When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?

Investigate sequences given by $a_n = \frac{1+a_{n-1}}{a_{n-2}}$ for different choices of the first two terms. Make a conjecture about the behaviour of these sequences. Can you prove your conjecture?

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.

The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

These gnomons appear to have more than a passing connection with the Fibonacci sequence. This problem ask you to investigate some of these connections.

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!